Midnight Beauty ~ A Poem

Author’s Note: I was deliriously tired when I wrote this, so it may sound… Delirious. ~ H

Midnight Beauty

Walking softly amidst the night

Her lips have turned from blue to white

A child as fair as the breaking dawn

Her feet are cold, her shoes are worn

Once she bore a radiant smile

But it has been gone for quite a while

Her lips have turned from grey to blue

Her eyes keep coming back to you

Amidst the night she lived and died

And now forever cursed to glide

She grew up over the years

A face of beauty to hide your fears

Her eyes once grey are crimson now

Upon cold lips she repeats a vow

“Too long now, I’ll never go

And earthly rest, I’ll never know.”

Follow her, it is your duty

They call her the Midnight Beauty

Reach out amidst the broken veil

Till joy is stagnant and warmth is stale

Her lips will whisper the same old song

Don’t hesitate, don’t leave her long

Midnight is no time for fear

If you call her name, you’ll hold her here

Midnight Beauty, queen of sorrow

Her starlit road you’ve sworn to follow

You call her name, she’s by your side

Her broken whispers to you confide

Reach for her hand and let her know

That she must stay and you won’t go

Deadly pale and cruelly cold

Is the lady’s hand that you will hold

Her eyes are empty of her song

Already broken yet so strong

Mortal life was never hers

No mortal song has reached her ears

Sing her a song and it will set her free

Beneath the crescent moon where the mist and starlight be

So go to the place where her footsteps tread the veil

Go find the Midnight Beauty, so lovely and so pale

The Midnight Beauty with whispers on her lips

Amidst the darkness where all the moonlight slips.

~ by Helen Cryestira Viorel, Friday, 19th July, 2019

Artwork by ariadne-a-mazed

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“Regret Me Not” ~ Guinevere And Lancelot

“Regret Me Not”

Image from BBC’s Merlin starring Angel Coulby as Guinevere and Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot

Author’s note: This is based more on the older retellings of the Guinevere and Lancelot romance. In the BBC version (which I love) Guinevere is far more attached to Arthur. I wrote this for fun. I do not own the image. Lancelot is way cuter than Arthur. (well, he is). Thank you for reading my work! ~ H

Abide by law, true love does not

For passion, be all sense forgot

So goes the tale of Lancelot

Who loved the Queen of Camelot.

And Guinevere was too besot

By the raven eyes of Lancelot

King Arthur’s eyes entranced her not

Like the burning gaze of Lancelot.

By Cupid’s bow, both hearts were shot

The great romance of Camelot

Her husband, Guinevere forgot

To her lover said, “Regret me not.”

“The married Queen of Camelot

I love her and my honor not

For this sin, in Hell I’ll rot

But regret her, I shall not.”

So mused the smitten Lancelot

Upon his soul no guilt would blot

The joyous spell of love begot

By his lovely Queen of Camelot.

Now King Arthur of Camelot

Had eyes blue as forget-me-not

But the raven eyes of Lancelot

Sang to the Queen, “Regret me not.”

So at the death of Camelot

When all that’s good was laid to rot

Sweet Guinevere and Lancelot

Had loved too deep to be forgot.

True love works by no way of plot

Some things are better done than not

Though sinful, they were ne’er forgot

Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot.

Blue as the fair forget-me-not

Was the sky of fallen Camelot

Dead were the Queen and Lancelot

And still they sang, “Regret me not.”

~ Helen Cryestira Viorel, Monday, July 8th, 2019

Image belongs to BBC

Invincible ~ A Poem

If you let me love you

Perhaps the world won’t fall

Fate can concede a dalliance

And you’re the fairest of them all.

If you look behind you

I’ll smile from across the room

Join me in a final dance

A dance towards our doom.

Lady of the pinewoods

Needles in your hair

Sharpness in your eyes as well

But just maybe you care.

Lord of the humble lilies

My heart pledged unto thine

Perhaps I may have loved to high

To hope you might be mine.

We were lovers in the summer

When romance fills all hearts

Yet summer past, and we still loved

And still cannot be apart.

It was meant to be a dalliance

Meant to come and go

We thought our hearts invincible

And now both of us know.

Lonely, proud and haughty

Long ago we used to be

I used to live a careless life

Now you’re everything to me.

Your heart is nigh invincible

Yet it beats in tune with mine

We learned to sing each other’s song

And we’ll sing it till the end of time.

~ Helen Cryestira Viorel, Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Artwork by schuetz-mediendesign

Let The Others Burn ~ A Poem

Though drowned in pain

She rose again

And let the others burn

If nothing else

She saved herself

She saved the life she earned

With heart so black

Soul not intact

She had the strength to dance

In tattered dress

Away distress

For it’s her only chance

A chance at life

Away from strife

Where none would hunt her down

A maiden free

Where she can be

The queen without a crown

So dance away

And never stay

For love or friendship short

She can’t stay down

Or else she’ll drown

She’s not the caring sort

No love impart

To her black heart

For she will not return it

Give her your soul

She’ll eat it whole

Or she will surely burn it

The dancing queen

Has always been

Her loveliness eternal

Yet you will find

She is not kind

Her beauty quite infernal

Attend the fire

However dire

It must forever burn

And in the night

Flames bold and bright

Her story you will learn.

– by Helen Cryestira Viorel, Monday, 17th of June, 2019

Facades ~ A Poem

Facades

I look at you now

Because you are smiling

With joy that can’t fail to draw my gaze

The days and the nights

I spent listlessly whiling

Are long gone since you came

You came like the dawn

Full of light and beguiling

Coaxing me out of my shell

The way that you move renders me quite distracted

And I suspect you can tell

You flirt and you dance but sometimes you’re abstracted

Sometimes you act just like me

Youthful of face yet your eyes seem retracted

It’s a burden clear to see

Once you were tired

And your smile

Fell and faltered

And you were there for a while

Without your mask you seem sad, you seem altered

A state I spent half my life knowing

Then you resumed your mask

And you went back to glowing

And I saw myself echoed in you

So I pasted on smiles and I joined you in your game

And watched you stare at me too

With you in my life things have never been the same

I can’t quite breathe without you

For now I will tease

And perhaps play along

Try to topple your ease

And perhaps masquerade

Like a creature who belongs

Try to mimic your song

And maybe one day when we end up as fast friends

We can drop our facades

We can stop playing life like a tense game of cards

And set down our heavy guards

I’ll stay with you

Through it all

Until that day

Merely a thought, what do you say?

~ Helen Cryestira Viorel, Monday, May 27th, 2019

Artwork by Arte-Anonima

The Colours Of Her Smile – An Excerpt

Isa held herself rigidly as the wolf approached her.

Relief softened her posture when it stepped into the glade of moonlight. In the beast’s furry face, pure gold eyes gleamed at her. Those eyes were like shards of a blazing autumn sunset. Those eyes were ones she knew well.

It was Arden.

Confusion overshadowed the relief. Why was he braced in an aggressive stance, hackles raised and teeth bared at her? A low growling hummed steadily from his throat.

Too late, she realized he was growling at something behind her. Something slammed with stunning force into her back, sending her rolling through the dirt.

Disoriented, she pushed herself up onto her arms, her head spinning. Cold fear shot through her as she saw Arden’s graceful wolf body arcing through the air towards a hulking battle cat.

The huge black feline swiped at him with a massive claw. It was a terrifying, muscular creature, almost the size of a horse. Arden snarled and snapped, keeping his distance, then lunging for the cat’s throat at unpredictable intervals. The battle cat spat and hissed, infuriated, as Arden avoided the heavy blows aimed at him.

Isa’s breath caught in her throat as Arden lunged again. This time, the cat was quick. With an enraged yowl it caught Arden in mid-air, sending him flying into the broad trunk of a nearby tree.

Isa winced as she heard Arden’s body thudding hard into the wood.

He staggered to his feet, winded but undeterred. He flung himself against the cat.

Surprised, the great black cat was overpowered by this sudden and ferocious retaliation, and Arden’s teeth sank into its velvet throat. Its monstrous body moved no more.

Isa breathed freely again, as Arden stepped away from his fallen opponent. She suddenly registered a stinging pain in her upper back. The fabric of her gown felt warm and wet against her skin.

Arden shifted back to human form as he hurried toward her, and his first words confirmed her suspicions. “You’re hurt.” his dark golden eyes were hard as polished metal as he held off his worry.

Isa slowly levered herself off the leafy ground. She knelt upright in the dirt, using her much-practiced breathing technique to control the pain.

She felt Arden kneeling behind her. His rough and calloused hands were at their gentlest as he peeled off the shredded fabric.

He inhaled sharply as he uncovered her wound. “You need a healer.”

“I am a healer,” Isa said faintly.

“Yes, but you can’t treat yourself like this. What are you doing out here anyway?” Arden added.

Isa sighed. “Let’s just say you were right about my temporary allegiances.”

“I see. I’m taking you to Lex.” Without another word, Arden swept Isa into his arms as if she were a small child. Isa gripped him tightly, startled. Recovering, she looked into his impassive face with incessant silver-blue eyes.

“Lex?” she demanded. “Lex who?”

“Lex Lonewolf. Yes, he’s alive. La Luna knows how, though.”

Isa’s eyes shone emerald green. “I know how,” she said softly. “You went out looking for him, didn’t you?”

Arden’s stony facade flickered. “No. He’s always been resourceful. He pulled through.”

Isa smiled despite the pain searing across her back. She let her head rest against Arden’s chest. “You went to find him,” her tone was almost smug. “I know you did.”

“I think you’d better stop talking and rest.” Arden said coldly.

Isa shrugged. “If you think so, my love.” her eyes were already drained of their vibrant green colour, a strained grey overtaking her crystalline irises. “Is it far?”

But she was asleep before she could comprehend Arden’s answer.

§§§

Isa’s eyes fluttered open to see the featureless interior of a military tent. The walls of heavy brown cloth fell unbroken all around, but the flap at the far end of the tent let forth torrents of harsh sunlight.

Isa remembered her injuries. She got up with deliberate slowness. Dull throbs of pain shot across her upper back and her left shoulder.

Isa sighed as she noticed that the entire bodice of her gown had been ripped off, and her corset removed. She was covered only by the stained and tattered skirt of her ruined gown, and a simple cotton tunic that certainly didn’t belong to her. Her torso was encased by bandages, and the white wrappings extended across her left shoulderblade and ended halfway down her upper arm.

“Alright, Countess?”

Isa looked up to see Arden seated on the floor in the corner of the tent. Dark circles gathered under his eyes.

Isa got to her feet unsteadily. “Were you watching me sleep?”

“Yes.”

“Because my injuries were that bad or because you just like to?”

Arden shrugged brazenly. “Both, I think.”

Isa sniffed, feigning annoyance. “Well, I’m alright now. Where did you put my corset?”

Arden pointed. The bloodied corset lay beside Isa’s sleeping mat.

Isa pulled off the cotton tunic. Her back and shoulder protested painfully, but she ignored it.

Arden watched her, exasperated. “Why don’t you leave the tunic on?”

Isa adjusted the corset against her battered torso. “I’m not wearing that hideous tunic. I’d sooner die of cold.”

“You very well might.” Arden pointed out.

Isa ignored this. She turned her back to him, gesturing to the loose lace ties trailing down her exposed back. “Lace me up so I can go outside.”

Arden got up and approached her languidly. His eyes briefly skimmed the additional bruises she had sustained from being mauled by a battle cat. The discoloration stood out lividly against her milky skin. He sighed.

He lifted her dark hair off her back and banked it over her right shoulder. Deftly, quickly, he laced her up.

Isa turned to face him, smiling. Bruised and battered and clad only in a tattered skirt and a bloodstained corset, she looked like some macabre goddess of war.

“I require breakfast.” she declared, her eyes shifting to turquoise. A vivacious, playful colour. Her health had not forsaken her despite her ordeal.

Arden gave her an almost-smile. Warmth touched his eyes, softening the hard gold, but didn’t reach his lips or lift the heavy shadows that always hung over his features of late.

“Of course, Countess.”

He tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and escorted her out of the tent and into the camp.

Several fires burned around the clearing, the men crowding round them all busily cooking or consuming their breakfast.

Arden wound his way towards a smaller fire at the far end of the woodland clearing. Two people were seated by it; a tall man and a short woman.

Isa recognized the woman as Eryna Vlair, Arden’s right hand, who turned to look at her curiously as they approached.

The man said something to Eryna, his tone conveying mild irritation. He flipped his long, low ponytail over his shoulder. His hair was completely grey despite his obvious youth, which added to the rakish quality of his good looks. Noticing Eryna wasn’t listening to him, he followed her gaze and locked eyes with Isa. He grinned wickedly.

“Arden. Who’s your friend?” he called as soon as they sat down.

“This is Countess De Lang. She’s our source of information within the Humanist Alliance and the Silver Sisterhood.” Arden said.

“So, she’s our spy?” the grey-haired man simplified.

“Oh, no. Spies are paid.” Isa said, meeting the man’s eyes and turning up her chin. “I’m a defector.”

“You’re the one who diverted General Lasata’s forces when we invaded Madathra?” asked Eryna, leaning forward on the log she perched upon.

Isa nodded to the distinctly feline woman.

“Impressive.” the grey-haired man said, his appreciative gaze lingering on Isa’s roguish outfit.

Arden passed a bowl of porridge to Isa, looking exasperated. “Valerian. Behave. We have much to discuss.”

Isa accepted her breakfast with a grateful smile.

Valerian ignored Arden. He leaned forward, trying to catch Isa’s gaze. “Your eyes just changed colour.” he blurted.

Isa gave him a playful smile. “They probably did.”

Valerian looked intrigued.

Isa absently tugged a lock of her ebony hair out of her face, tucking it behind her noticeably pointy ear.

Valerian snapped his fingers. “You’re an elf! A crystalline elf. That’s why your eyes change colour.”

Isa smirked at him.

“I haven’t met many elves, De Lang.” Valerian told her.

Isa raised her eyebrows in mock severity. “You’re not going to address me as Countess?”

Valerian smirked back. “No, I’m not.”

“If you two are done flirting,” Arden interrupted. “We do have work to do.”

Isa turned and smiled at him, her eyes deep blue and full of charm.

Arden gazed back with a smile barely restrained. Mild envy was tempered by amusement in his guarded yet expressive eyes. Her flirtatious antics were familiar, comforting.

And that smile she was smiling. Her eyes cycled through a range of vibrant colours. Happy colours. Turquoise, azure, violet. The colours that he associated with her warmth, her energy, her love.

Colours rarely played a part in Arden’s life these days. Everything was either indifferent grey or burning gold, alternately draining him or challenging him. His comrades supported him, of course, but there was something in Isa’s vibrancy that could never be found in Eryna’s trusting loyalty, or Valerian’s brotherly warmth.

Isa was life itself; she was beauty incarnate.

And by her side, Arden could at last remember what he was fighting for.

§§§

From Untitled upcoming novel by Helen Cryestira Viorel

Written 13th of March 2018

Dedicated to myself, and to the real Arden Atanastov

Tender And Divine ~ A Poem

Tender & Divine

Broken glass

Litters the pass

You must take to find my heart

It is bright

And it is warm

Full of love you cannot chart

But tell no lies

For I despise

That which is not one of mine

My only world

I built of truth

A world quite tender and divine

Hold my hand

And boldly stand

Upon the empty void of stars

Your heartbeat true

Free of fear

A stunning tale told by your scars

You are my love

The stars above

They shine for you and you alone

If you get lost

And seek me out

Those very stars will guide you home.

~ Helen Cryestira Viorel, 11th of April 2019